Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, has lauded the achievements of some of his predecessors in office. He spoke at the 25th anniversary of the state on Friday.
Two of the past governors, Danjuma Goje and Ibrahim Dankwambo, were, however, absent at the anniversary celebration.
Gombe State was created by the Abacha regime in 1996.
Dankwambo, who was governor from May 2011 to May 2019, has continued to be absent at state functions since he left office. He is a chieftain of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Goje, a current senator representing Gombe Central, was governor from 2003 to 2011 and a member of the All Progressives Congress.
Addressing citizens at the Pantami Stadium on Friday, Governor Muhammadu Yahaya lauded the efforts of founding fathers for laying strong foundations for the state.
He made mention of Group Captain J.I. Orji, Col. Inuwa Bawa, Habu Hashidu, Danjuma Goje and Ibrahim Dankwambo, among others, for their contributions to the state.
He said, “Our first military administrator, Group Captain J.I. Orji must be credited for laying a solid foundation by putting up a broad-based development agenda.
“He established the administrative structure of the state, provided critical infrastructure such as housing and office accommodation for civil servants, built roads, raised revenues and provided critical support to the citizenry.
“Group Captain Orji’s modest but significant accomplishments were consolidated and built upon by his successor, Col. M.I. Bawa (of blessed memory).
“Under Bawa, the state witnessed significant increase in investments on basic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, coupled with important policies to revitalise basic education sector.
“Following the country’s return to democracy in 1999, the administration of Governor Abubakar Habu Hashidu (of blessed memory) introduced some laudable initiatives in the area of agriculture, water supply, rural development, conflict prevention, healthcare delivery and basic education.
“The Hashidu administration also recorded significant milestones in the housing sector, construction of access roads in rural and urban areas, and provision of financial loans for individuals and cooperatives in order to boost self-reliance and reduce poverty.
“Governor Muhammad Danjuma Goje initiated and completed a large number of legacy projects such as the Gombe State University, the Gombe International Airport, and the Pantami Stadium, among others.
“He also ensured a timely completion of some major projects he inherited from the Hashidu administration such as the Gombe Regional Water Supply, the Gombe International Hotel, and the dualisation of Tunfure-Liji road.
“In addition, the Goje administration constructed several rural and urban roads across the state, renovated over 110 primary schools, and connected dozens of villages to the national grid
“The immediate past administration of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo also made significant headways in providing critical infrastructure by expanding existing roads especially in the state capital and building new road networks in the local government areas of the state.
“The administration had also encouraged and provided support for farming and commercial activities. Other sectors such as education and health also received the attention of the past administration.”
The governor said that, upon assumption of office, efforts were made towards sustaining the achievements of the various leaders in order to give the state a sound footing.
“On coming to office on the 29th May 2019, we strived to consolidate the achievements of all the past administrations. We took bold steps to confront the myriad of challenges facing our dear state.
“Our administration is pursuing a rapid and wide-ranging development by addressing long-standing infrastructure deficits through aggressive spending on roads, hospitals and healthcare facilities, schools, water projects, and urban renewal. We have sustained our commitment to promoting all-inclusive growth and development by redressing the neglect of rural communities and low-income neighbourhoods in the provision of ‘dividends of democracy,” Yahaya added.